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Spray Deet on your hands. Works like a charm. Of course, you’re not likely to catch the queen wearing it! :)
 

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I have worked honey bees when the mosquitos were active. We were sprayed with a deet spray and it did nothing to repel the bees. The bees would still crawl on clothing and hands.
 

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I have worked honey bees when the mosquitos were active. We were sprayed with a deet spray and it did nothing to repel the bees. The bees would still crawl on clothing and hands.
They crawl, but have found they don’t sting...
 

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The deet probably masks the animal smell just like the black plastic gloves that bees can sting thru but rarely do. Liberally smoking your bare hands seems to help too if you are gentle.
 

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After years of wearing gloves opening up hives I have finally gone barehanded. Clean hands don’t seem to invite stings and I get a lot more done. Especially marking queens. The stings happen but nothing painful. Once tagged though it’s a good idea to wrap it up and wash the area before working the next hive. I think a lot depends on the time of year. Early Spring is dicey barehanded.
 

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Some bees don't even require gloves anyway (DEET or no DEET) - so why bother.
Other bees require gloves anyway - why be distracted, just wear the gloves and move on.
Then other bees are just depend on a day - so observe and play along.
Really that simple.

I would not depend on DEET.
It is yet another bad dependency to fall onto where it is not really required.
 

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This is great advice. Several times I've been stung in the hand and keep working and will end up getting some more stings. Now if I get stung I'll throw a latex glove on and keep working.
 

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I dont have much of a problem with bees stinging my hands if I smoke my hands and arms.Where I get most all of my stings come from mashing bees with my hands.
 

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Working bare-handed is my normal procedure. I rarely have problems. It teaches you to be cvalm. 98% of stings I get are usually my own fault, when I squeeze a bee on a frame or between hand and tool, or something like that. When stung I usually back off for a couple of minutes and then smoke my hands and arms, and usually I can keep going without issues. Sometimes, though, the bees get upset, probably from some other reason as well (rough handling, weather) and I will put on nitrile gloves. Almost completely effective.

On the other hand, I know there are hives where I will start with nitrile gloves because I know my hives, and that at certain times of day they are ornery or it's just their nature to be a little cranky. I wear my goat skin gloves only a few times a year--moving hives, cleaning up a mess from bears or a storm, or capturing a swarm of bees where they're going to fall on me from up high, or which seems aggressive.

I like the dexterity and nimbleness of bare hands and simply puts me in tune with the hive.

It's also important to get stung 10 or more times a year, research has shown, to keep away a bad reaction.
 

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So it depends.
Today I worked my backyard bees with nothing at all (well, a baseball cap and reading glasses for "protection" I guess).
But I just knew I could get away with it in this particular case.
 

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Who can figure out what 40,000 females are going to do day to day. I cannot figure out what one will do every day after 44 years. :) ;)
 
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